Stevens soccer and field hockey claim 3 E8 Championships, look toward NCAA Titles

Men’s soccer, field hockey, and women’s soccer claimed three Empire 8 Athletic Conference Championships in a span of six hours Wednesday, November 7. Now, the Ducks look toward their respective NCAA 2015 Division III Tournaments in hopes of securing three NCAA Division III Championships.

For men’s soccer, the first of the Ducks to claim an Empire 8 Championship, defense was the ultimate deciding factor in their 1-0 victory over Ithaca College. In New York, The Ducks outshot Ithaca 12-6 in the first half, with senior Carson Pryor scoring the first and only goal of the game (and his 16th of the season) at the 24-minute mark, assisted by sophomore Tommy Dorsay. The final shot count was 19-17, the Ducks continuing to outshoot and defend against Ithaca for the shutout championship victory.

Men’s soccer will face Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Brandeis University (Waltham, MA) on November 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament.

Second of the Ducks to secure an Empire 8 Championship, field hockey captured its first Empire 8 Championship since 2010, defeating Ithaca 4-1. After sophomore Cassidy O’Hearn scored the Ducks’ first goal, Ithaca answered back four minutes later to tie the game. Early in the second half, senior Dailyn Brook scored a goal to put Stevens in the lead, 2-1. Sophomore Victoria Alvarez and Brook scored a goal apiece throughout the remainder of the second half, extending the lead and ensuring the second Empire 8 Championship for the Ducks.

Field hockey defeated Mount Holyoke College 3-1 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship Tournament this past Wednesday and advanced to the second round. The Ducks are set to face No. 4 Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA on November 14 at 11 a.m.

Closing out the eventful November 7 night for Stevens was the final Empire 8 Championship for the Ducks, in which women’s soccer defeated Ithaca 2-1 to win its first Empire 8 Championship since 2011. The Ducks were first to strike when senior Kristen Goncalves converted a penalty kick into a 1-0 lead at the 17-minute mark. Five minutes later, freshman Zisi Komar extended the Ducks’ lead, 2-0. Early in the first half, Ithaca’s Kelsey King converted a penalty kick to halve the Bombers’ deficit. Despite the efforts of Ithaca goaltender Beth Coppolecchia, who had 13 stops, the Ducks maintained their 2-1 lead and won Stevens’ third 2015 Empire 8 Championship that day.

“It’s a significant event for our teams and athletics at Stevens to have such a strong start to the 2015-16 academic year,” said women’s soccer Head Coach Jeff Parker. “To have every single team from the men’s and women’s cross country and soccer teams, from field hockey to men’s golf, equestrian and women’s volleyball vying for the top spot of their conferences including conference titles and NCAA tournament appearances is truly remarkable.”

Women’s soccer will square off against Lesley University this Saturday at 5 p.m. in the DeBaun Athletic Complex, the first round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championship Tournament.